Please check out our updates at the end of this post.
Seafood makes up a large portion of the cuisine along the Gulf Coast. If you haven’t already heard, we’re supporting Gulf Coast communities by spending recreation time at affected beaches and eating Gulf Coast seafood. Sounds like a tough job, right? Well, there’s been a bit of hype in the news media regarding “unsafe seafood” and “contaminated waters”. Yes, there is oil in the gulf. Yes, it is affecting the marine and wildlife who come in contact with it. However, there is a REALLY BIG GULF out there.
The media hype is scaring all the tourists away and keeping the diners at home. One of the biggest culinary destinations where people have slacked off eating is in New Orleans. Guess where they get their seafood from? Louisiana fisherman. So, when you don’t eat Louisiana seafood, you’re not only hurting the restaurants and fisherman, but you are directly hurting my family.
“How are we hurting YOU CajunMama?” You might be asking?
In full disclosure, I’ll answer honestly – Half of our household income is from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Seafood is one of the top industries in this state. Now, my husband does not deal with or work with the food side of things, but the budget for his office comes from this major umbrella, and when there are cuts from an already hurting economy, and then income and taxes stop coming in because people are scared to visit or eat here – it can cause people (such as my husband) to possibly lose their job.
We’ve covered many places affected by the oil spill lately, and as with all current events and disasters, I’m sure those of you who don’t see this first-hand are quite frankly tired of hearing all about it. I’m tired of hearing about it also, because it’s pretty darn depressing. I’ve been eating Louisiana Seafood this entire time and it’s still fine and it’s still delicious. Here’s a video about food safety in New Orleans put out by the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. They’ve even launched a new site to inform people on what’s really going on – Check out ThisJustinNewOrleans.com.
I encourage you to eat Louisiana and Gulf Coast seafood anywhere, you don’t have to limit yourself to New Orleans. They aren’t going to serve you toxic food. I mean, let’s get real here. And if you are looking for a weekend getaway and want to help out another destination affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, be sure to join us for Mamas4Mamas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama on August 20, 2010.
Update 1: We managed to raise few hundred dollars for Share our Beach, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the sea turtles who nest along Alabama’s Gulf Coast Beaches.
Update 2: (January, 22, 2011) I’ve continued to eat Gulf Coast seafood and so has my family. We have not experienced any abnormalities or health issues due to gulf coast seafood consumption. We will continue to support our neighbors and friends here along the Gulf Coast by purchasing Louisiana seafood, when available.